Technological development has taken over almost all industries around the globe, translating to increasing expansion into the online marketplace. The healthcare sector hasn’t been far behind, despite the very nature of the industry that necessitates solid face-to-face interaction, entrepreneurs and established organizations alike have found ways to incorporate technology into healthcare.
Canada has a fully public-funded healthcare system, which can have positive elements and negative elements. While every citizen is covered by insurance and receives free medical care all year around, the system is also plagued with fundamental issues like wait times and access to rural areas.
Recently, initiatives like Ontario Telemedicine Network have contributed to extending healthcare beyond urban centers through telecommunication and video conferencing. The network includes 3 different services: eCare for general health support, eConsult for remote consultation services with doctors across the provinces and eVisit for specialized care anywhere within the country via video conference.
This project is a solid example of how an online presence can help expand Canadian healthcare beyond boundaries. However, individual healthcare practices in Toronto generally do not maintain an updated online presence that they could be using to connect with patients, and drive more traffic to their practice.
5 essential practices that health clinics could be adopting for better online presence and superior services:
Use email to remind patients when they’re due for a check-up
Email marketing is one of the best ways to remind people to come by for regular checkups. These reminder mails can be scheduled for after a specified time period on the day of the first appointment itself, saving the clinic any extra hassle with storing documentation for long stretches of time.
Constant Contact is a very efficient source to be managing your email marketing through.
Set up a system for monitoring every patient and flagging those who haven’t been in for a certain period of time
To most patients, health checkups are a nuisance and they’d rather put off appointments until absolutely necessary. A proper system that monitors symptoms and conditions of visitors, and keeps track of the severity of their issues can easily be used to flag them regarding the urgency of a checkup.
Patient Pop is an all-in-one-solution to patient acquisition, reputation management, retention marketing, and business insights that lets you ‘Diagnose Your Practice’ – meaning it will help judge how your practice looks online, and suggest solutions for better functionality.
Engage Facebook fans with a “Fitness Challenge,” and ask people to post a picture to show they’ve completed it
This is a strategy already used widely by YouTube fitness channels, which is proof of its effectivity. Fitness Challenges relevant to the practices can help generate conversation, interaction and increase share ability, all the while motivating patients to adopt better lifestyle choices.
Use an electronic referral program to keep track of your referral colleagues and identify trends in their referral patterns
Referral Marketing involves asking current colleagues for referrals. Most practices that have been in business for at least 2 years have an average of 30 referral partners that they do business with regularly. Shockingly, very few actually know an accurate number of referrals they send or receive on a daily basis.
Failure to properly record referrals usually result in patient leakage and communication gaps – harming the patients as well the practices. If a system is used to record these referrals and monitor patterns, then underperforming colleagues can easily be contacted to discuss issues and solutions.
Referral MD can be a good agency to look into for referral marketing purposes.
Your website should provide visitors with immediately useful links
It is easier for medical practices to keep track of the latest developments and breakthroughs in the healthcare sector. With strong online presence, these practices can classify patients under tags depending on their problems and other demographic factors. These tags can then be used to personally send patients useful articles and news regularly.
While the service is similar to a medical newsletter from any website, when it involves a medical practice, the results are much more customized to cater to the patients’ needs. This puts them at a better position to engage and help patients substantially.